Five top junior players will join the Sam Houston women’s tennis family for the 2018-19 season, Bearkat head coach Rob Hubbard has announced. The Kats’ 2018 signing class includes four freshmen and one transfer.

Karla De La Luz Montalvo from Katy, Texas; Malou Goes from the Netherlands; Petra Kaszas from Budapest, Hungary; Ryli Ruffin from Mason, Texas and Isidora Zivkovic from Belgrade, Serbia will step on to the tennis court for the Bearkats this fall.

The quintet joins a Sam Houston program that produced its highest season victory total this past spring (14 wins), tied for third place in the Southland Conference (the team’s best league finish in more than a decade) and reached the semi-finals of the Southland post-season tournament.  Four of the 2018 squad’s top six were seniors.

“Our incoming recruiting class for 2018-19 brings a level of play that will help us remain a contender for the Southland Conference championship,” Hubbard said. “Even though we will be younger, the talent arriving on campus this fall will help us reload for the 2019 campaign. Additionally, their academic excellence partnered with their strong character and passion to play the game will make them a strong part of the Sam Houston athletic family.”

The 2018-19 Sam Houston women’s tennis recruiting class (in alphabetical order):

Karla De La Luz Montalvo – Katy, Texas / Cinco Ranch

  • * Played #1 singles and doubles for Louisiana Tech as a freshman in 2017-18
  • * UTA over 9.6
  • * Ranked No. 13 in Texas playing for Cinco Ranch High School in Katy
  • * BCS Super Champ Major Zone girls 18 doubles champion and singles runner-up (2014)
  • * Former 4-star recruit (TRN)
  • * Ranked #12 in Texas recruiting class and top 100 in the US (2017)
  • * Born in Vera Cruz, Mexico

Coach Hubbard says:
“With a year of collegiate competition under her belt primarily as the #1 player at La Tech, Karla will bring much needed experience to fill the void of our graduating seniors.  She is equally accomplished in both singles and doubles with her all court style of play.  A 4-star recruit a year ago as one of the top 100 in the country for her recruiting class – as well as one of the tops in Texas – Karla will be another impact player for our program.  I am definitely thrilled to welcome Karla to Sam Houston State and our tennis family.” 

Malou Goes – The Netherlands

  • * UTR over 9
  • * Ranked in top 100 in Netherlands
  • * Former quarterfinalist in U18 Championships

Coach Hubbard says:
“Malou comes to us with a strong national record in the Netherlands that I believe will translate into an excellent collegiate career here at Sam Houston.  A quarter-final showing in her national junior championships made Malou a recruiting target for a number of strong programs.  I am excited to say that Malou has decided to join the Sam Houston tennis program.”

Petra Kaszas – Budapest, Hungary

  • * UTR over 9
  • * ranked as high as #6 in U18 in Hungary
  • * ranked in top 35 in women’s division in Hungary
  • * 3rd place finish in Hungarian National U18 Championships
  • * Club Team won National Team Championship in U18
  • * Received high school’s highest academic award – Nemeth Laszlo Award 2018

Coach Hubbard says:
“Petra is another excellent addition to our program as she too has won a national club team championship in her native country, Hungary. That experience along with her strong showings in her national juniors and women’s division makes Petra an ideal candidate for our dual match format. With her all court play and wins against players boasting UTRs over 10, Petra should also have an immediate impact on our line-up. I am absolutely thrilled that Petra chose to be a part of our Bearkat Tennis Family.”  

Ryli Ruffin – Mason, Texas

  • * UTR over 8
  • * 2 star recruit (TRN)
  • * Ranked top 40 in Texas recruiting class
  • * 3 time Texas State 2A Champion
  • * Class Valedictorian
  • * Awarded Terry Scholarship for her academic excellence

Coach Hubbard says: “I feel Ryli is our ‘steal of the year’ who upon completing her four years here at Sam Houston will have had a definite impact on our tennis program. Ranked in the top 40 for the Texas recruiting class and being a three time Texas Class 2A state champion (singles, doubles and mixed doubles), Ryli has demonstrated a passion to play that will only drive her on to bigger and better things both on and off the court. A talented lefty with a smooth serve and forehand I was absolutely delighted when Ryli committed to us last fall.”  

Isidora Zivkovic
- Belgrade, Serbia

  • * UTR over 10
  • * ranked as high as #8 in the women’s division in Serbia
  • * ranked as high as #2 in U18 in Serbia
  • * ranked in top 700 ITF juniors (2016)
  • * ranked #78 in European Juniors U16 (2017)
  • * earned first WTA point at ITF $10K in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia (2017)
  • * former finalist at ITF Jug Open
  • * former semi-finalist ITF Tirana Open
  • * Club Team won National Team Championship in U16

Coach Hubbard says:
“Isidora is an elite recruit and a great fit for our program. She will be an impact player in her first season as a Bearkat. With a UTR over 10 she already plays at a professional level, having secured her first WTA world ranking point less than a year ago. As the winner of a club team championship in Serbia and her success on the international level, Isidora will bring the experience necessary for our dual match competitions in the spring. She was highly sought after by other nationally ranked programs and we are fortunate and excited that she saw the value in choosing Sam Houston State University.”